‘Dark Web’ Drug Trafficker Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
An Ohio drug trafficker has pleaded guilty to laundering more than US$19 million of narcotics profit on the dark web over the course of two years.
Hugh Haney, 61, was charged on Wednesday with money laundering and profiting from crime, according to the US Justice Department.
Authorities linked Haney to a narcotics trafficking organization on Silk Road called “Pharmville.”
Silk Road was an outlet for anonymous vendors to sell drugs and other illegal goods to more than 100,000 customers before it was shut down in 2013.
“Hugh Haney used Silk Road as a means to sell drugs to people all over the world. Then he laundered more than $19 million in profits through cryptocurrency,” said US Attorney Geoffrey Berman, in a release.
“Peddling drugs on the Dark Web does not provide anonymity forever, as Hugh Haney can attest.”
Pharmville is believed to have at least operated from 2011 to 2012, according to a grand jury indictment, and supplied a “dedicated community of individuals who often traded illicit narcotics.”
Police raided Haney’s Ohio home in 2018 and discovered documents which authorities say linked him to large-scale drug trafficking.
“Among the documents found on a computer in HANEY’s house was a document entitled “HBH DAILY TO DO LIST,” which, among other things, referred to Silk Road, Pharmville, and large-scale narcotics trafficking, including of the deadly opioid fentanyl,” the Justice Department said.
Haney would take the profits made through drug trafficking, and launder the proceeds by buying and selling Bitcoins he falsely claimed he had earned fairly.
The convicted drug trafficker faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison, and will be sentenced in February 2020.
Haney also has to forfeit $19,147,057 in drug proceeds.